As any business owner will tell you, achieving success is a lot easier said than done. Most people fail to realize just how much competition is there in the world of business.
Rather than throwing the towel too soon, you need to think about digital marketing especially, for small business.
The way that we have done business in the past and the way it is now has undergone a transformation, a digital revolution indeed. A couple of years prior, Facebook was not really known; LinkedIn’s quality was not felt. Yet, today Digital is everywhere. With marketing undergoing a major transformation and will continue to evolve as we move forward, as a CEO or a CMO, have you utilized the ‘Power of Digital Marketing’ in your business?
Digital Marketing – Are You Missing Out?
The business landscape is ever changing around various factors – changes in law, changes in popular culture, changes in society and also changes in technology. Technology is now such a major part of our lives, more so than ever in business. When things like email, faxing and computers came onto the scene, the efficiency of businesses improved to no end.
The Internet is no longer a place for geeks in their bedroom. It is a place for innovation and growth, so why wouldn’t you let your business take advantage of this? A large proportion of your audience is probably already interacting with blogs and social media (and having an older audience is no longer much of an excuse as the ‘boomers’ are increasing their activity on Facebook by the year). Yes, people still watch television and they still read newspapers so there is still leverage in traditional forms of marketing, but as a country and as a global community, we are spending a lot more time online. On average, we now spend 36 hours and 49 minutes a month browsing online with PCs and laptops and this statistic doesn’t seem to cover browsing on mobiles or tablets!
The truth is that digital innovations are constantly shaping our daily lives and as business owners, they are also shaping how we market to our consumers and how to sell our products or services.
But, it’s not just online shoppers that are up for grabs. As per the recent statistics of adweek.com, more than 81% of all shoppers research a product or service online before making a purchase, whether that purchase is online or at a brick and mortar establishment.
The first step is to define your Digital Marketing Strategy!
- What are we trying to sell?
- Who is the target audience?
- What is the message that we would like to share with the audience?
- how do you plan to track the ROI through these efforts?
- What are your marketing objectives
Some examples of digital marketing channels
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Paid Advertising
What can digital do for your business?
If you like to keep updated with digital innovations, you will probably hear a lot of talk about what you should be doing with regards to these updates. Whilst it’s true that you probably should be active on social media, and you should be sending out email marketing campaigns – it’s important to consider what all of these strategies can actually do for your business.
If you have an online business, and you reach out to customers online, then that means you have a digital marketing strategy, right? Well, not exactly. While any efforts you put in to get the word out about your products or services through internet-based platforms is online marketing, the simple use of these resources doesn’t mean you have a strategy.
The strategy involves planning, analysis, and even metrics. So, simply throwing out a few tweets don’t necessarily meet the criteria. And, if you are marketing online without a suitable strategy, you may be missing out on opportunities to grow your business.What can digital do for you?
Reaching More People
The first huge benefit of digital marketing is that it enables you to reach new customers. The online world is, for the most part, global. You can reach customers in the US or in Asia simply by having a website, a blog or a targeted advertising campaign. People share websites with each other online and with the huge rise in social media, a website can go viral very quickly.
Whilst strategies such as newspaper or television ads are effective, there is a limit to their reach. But there is arguably no limit to the reach of a tweet or a blog post because almost anybody can read it, no matter whether they are a few meters from you or a few thousand miles away.
But even local businesses who work in just one region can benefit from digital. When you browse online, websites receive lots of data about your online behavior and none more so than Google and Facebook. Strategies like social advertising can help target your business to a specific group of people with minimal investment. You can do this very broadly.
Targeting people who live inWakefield but you can also go further and target your business messages to women in Wakefield aged 18-25 who enjoy the show Doctor Who (there are only a handful businesses who would want to target those people, but you get the idea!). There are dozens of targeting options available to take advantage of, such as ‘people who have come back from a holiday in the last two weeks’, ‘people who have uploaded less than 50 photos in the past month’ or ‘people who only use Google Chrome or Firefox’.
Whilst a television ad can reach millions of people of varying ages, gender, interests and backgrounds, only a fraction of those people will be affected by your ad. By using highly targeted messages online, you might reach fewer people but the chances of them buying your product are much higher because they match your target demographic.
Another great benefit of digital is that, as a business, you have more control over the customer’s journey, by being able to carefully craft digital brand touch points that resonate with them as individuals.
You can guide their journey by:
- Engaging with them on social platforms.
- Directing them to your blog posts.
- Encourage them to leave their email addresses.
- Re market with regular email newsletters.
- Direct these users to your products.
There is usually really insightful data to be gleaned from each of these touch points depending on the tools you use and so you can constantly analyse what is working and what needs improving. By doing this, you can ensure that your customer’s digital relationship with you is as positive and engaging as possible – which you can’t really do with more traditional marketing materials.
A huge benefit of digital is the way in which you market your business and how you build a relationship with your customers. After all, businesses and people are usually on a level playing ground online. Customers like to think they are equal with businesses in this arena.
The Facebook App
This is generally because of the ability to have direct communication with businesses – whether this is a query, a complaint or a compliment. This instant communication, when managed effectively, can do a lot to build brand trust and more importantly, brand loyalty. Consumers are usually loyal to those who engage with them online.
A relationship is harder to build with offline marketing such as newspapers because the message can be so broad and there is no option to respond, but with tools such as social media, the relationship can be one-on-one and therefore feels more intimate.
What is expected of businesses in today’s landscape?
Whilst it’s important to focus on what digital can do for you and the benefits, it’s also important to understand that consumers have certain expectations of their favourate businesses online.
First of all, they generally expect to be able to find a business online, and in various places. The first port of call is usually Google – if you’re not apparent on any search engines then how can they begin to build that relationship? They also want to find you on social media. I know from personal experience than I sometimes go on sites such as Twitter to compliment a brand and then get a little disheartened when they don’t have an account. I am practically volunteering to market their business for them so if you’re a business, take advantage of this expectation.
Another expectation is that consumers expect to be able to get in touch with a business online if it’s ever needed. If there is a problem they need fixing, they want to get the help online if possible (we all know how frustrating service centers can be at times). Whether they can get the information from a help section on their website or from an interaction on Twitter, they expect customer service online.
Finally, I will end on one of the most important expectations. You need a responsive, mobile/tablet friendly website. The increase in mobile usage for visiting business websites is increasing at an incredibly rapid rate. In some industries, mobile usage is actually over the 50% mark and has become the prominent way to interact with a business. Consumers expect a business website to cater for this behavior so it’s important to keep this in mind.
Taking advantage of digital is about interacting with your customers and building a relationship with them. New innovations in digital technology are evolving every day with new advertising platforms and new social media sites appearing almost overnight. It’s not necessary to implement each and every one of these updates but it is important to keep yourself updated with the latest trends and ask yourself what benefits they can bring to your business and your relationship with customers.
Targeting Your Audience and Your Advertisements
If you’re a business owner and you want to advertise your products and services to the people who are most likely to need them. But how do you determine who your target audience is and even more importantly, how do you reach them? Here are the top 10 ways to find, target and reach the right audience for your business:
- Getting to know your target audience
- Focusing on your target audience’s needs
- Talking to (or even better – with) your target audience, not at them
- Building Trust and Credibility
- Creating an Engaging and Attention Grabbing Message
- Maximizing Your Budget
- Finding the Right Channel/Medium
- Balancing Frequency and Reach
- Re-branding or Changing of Message
- Improving Search Rankings
10 Reasons Why You Must Use Digital Marketing For Your Small Business
- Digital Marketing Helps to Level the Playing Field
- Far More Cost-Effective Than Traditional Marketing Methods
- Better Conversion Rates
- Higher Revenues Are Generated From Digital Marketing
- A More Targeted Approach
- Reaching Out to the Mobile Consumer
- It’s All About Building a Brand
- Earn the Customer’s Trust
- Entice Customers to Take Favorable Actions
- Essential For Business Survival
Top 10 Benefits of Digital Marketing
- Digital marketing is the most powerful form of marketing.
- Using digital marketing tactics is the most cost-effective way to market your business.
- Digital marketing is the most measurable form of marketing.
- One of the greatest benefits of digital marketing is that it allows you to target your ideal buyers.
- Most people are starting their buyer’s journey online by digital marketing.
- All your clients are on social media and digital marketing helps you reach them.
- Search engine optimization and local SEO helps you reach more qualified buyers online.
- Digital marketing helps you connect with mobile customers.
- You can easily and quickly adapt your strategy and tactics for best results in online business.
- Digital marketing levels the playing field, allowing your business to be more competitive.
Digital marketing can be too much fun, as well as rewarding if done in the right manner but it can also turn out futile if you miss out on important digital marketing techniques that is essential for your business promotion. Digital Marketing can take your business marketing regime to the next level of effectiveness. It can also improve your business and as well as can increase your income!